- Long-range Mallinder penalty edges England U18 past Wales
- John Fletcher’s side play in FIRA final on Saturday
England Under 18 11 Wales Under 18 9
A late Harry Mallinder penalty put England U18 into their fourth successive FIRA/AER European Championship final as they beat Wales 11-9 in Pobiedziska, Poland.
Prop Jack Stanley’s early try – his second in as many games – had given England a 5-0 lead, but Wales hit back with three penalties to make it 9-5 before England fly half Theo Brophy Clews clawed one back before the break to make it 9-8.
Photo: RFU Archive
Terrible conditions in part prevented any further additions scoreline stayed until five minutes before the final whistle when replacement fly half Mallinder stepped up to send his kick between the posts from just short of half way.
Wales did have their own chances to win before that, missing three penalties in the second period while England were down to 14 men with full backTaylor Prell in the sinbin.
Head Coach John Fletcher said: “It was almost like a winter’s day up north out there today – not only was it wet but it was extremely cold. We made mistakes, but that’s to be expected in the conditions. It’s sometimes easier not to have the ball when the weather’s like that, and to be honest it could have gone either way.
“We’re really pleased to get into the FIRA final – the lads deserve it. They didn’t give up against a strong Welsh defence and got their reward late on.”
England Under 18 starting XV against Wales
15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School, Leeds Carnegie)
14 George Perkins (Oaklands, Saracens)
13 Lucas Slowik (Filton College, Bristol Rugby)
12 Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester Tigers)
11 Kai Little (Hartpury College, Exeter Chiefs)
10 Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School, London Irish)
9 Jack Maunder (Blundells School, Exeter Chiefs)
1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's Grammar, Leeds Carnegie)
2 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish)
3 Jack Stanley (Truro College, Exeter Chiefs)
4 Huw Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital, Worcester Warriors)
5 George Nott (Kings School Chester, Sale Sharks)
6 Joe Batley (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby)
7 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester Rugby, captain)
8 Will Safe (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby)
16 James Fish (Trent College, Northampton Saints) on for Ollie Adams 63 mins
17 Owen Hills (Queen Elizabeth Wyggeston College, Leicester Tigers) on for Lewis Boyce 58 mins
18 Josh Ibuanokpe (Dulwich College, Harlequins) on for Jack Stanley 35 mins
19 Stanley South (Whitgift School, Harlequins)
20 Callum Chick (Gosforth Academy, Newcastle Falcons) on for Will Safe 42 mins
21 Josh Bainbridge (Prince Henry’s Grammar, Leeds Carnegie) on for Huw Taylor 50 mins
22 Alex Mitchell (Lymm High School, Sale Sharks) on for Jack Maunder 58 mins
23 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School, Northampton Saints) on for Theo Brophy Clews 40 mins
24 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds, Harlequins)
25 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School, Northampton Saints) on for Kai Little 53 mins
26 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish)
Points: Stanley 1T; Brophy Clews 1P, Mallinder 1P